Daily Word: Can Tennessee's run continue?
Every day, Andy Katz leads a panel of our college hoops experts in a discussion of the biggest issues, trends and themes happening in and around college basketball.
Andy Katz: The Vols have gone back to their basics -- pound the ball inside and board. Jarnell Stokes has been the force inside in the three games for Tennessee. If this continues in the matchup against Michigan, then the Vols can make as surprising an Elite Eight appearance as Dayton.
Dana O'Neil: It's been about defense and rebounding for the Vols, calling cards that aren't sexy but are effective. The best way for Michigan to stop it: make shots, which the Wolverines are more than capable of.
Myron Medcalf: The Vols defense has really improved during this run, but Stokes has been the X factor. When he's unstoppable, and he has been, the Vols are just a different team. Michigan will have to swarm him.
2. What will be the determining factor in Louisville vs. Kentucky?
Katz: Julius Randle versus Montrezl Harrell. If Randle can dominate the post, then Kentucky should win. The Cardinals don't have the strength inside to handle Randle, outside of Harrell. If Kentucky can utilize him to his max, then the Wildcats can advance.
O'Neil: Steals and defensive pressure. If the Cards can't force turnovers and upset Kentucky's rhythm, this could be a long night for Louisville. The advantage for the Cardinals comes in speed and quickness, and they have to use it.
Medcalf: Randle destroyed Louisville when the two teams met in December. The Cardinals have to be able to play big and contain him or they'll lose their chance to reach the Elite Eight.
3. Iowa State has the challenge everybody has when they play Connecticut. So can they slow Shabazz Napier?
Katz: Yes. DeAndre Kane's length and size could be distracting for Napier. He'll need to be even more creative to find the necessary space. The Cyclones lost a key matchup problem with Georges Niang's injury. But Kane can still be disruptive enough for a possible win.
O'Neil: The Cyclones vowed to throw everyone at Napier, and that's not a bad plan. Leaving it up to Kane alone risks limiting the Iowa State guard. This has to be a committee job.
Medcalf: Iowa State has faced a lot of shifty players throughout the season. But they can't stop Shabazz. Don't have to, either. They have to limit everyone else on the floor since Napier alone can't beat them.
The Latest Dish
On paper, Michigan's matchup against No. 11 seed Tennessee looks to be a prototypical inside-outside matchup as the Volunteers are averaging 20 more points per game in the paint than the Wolverines in their first two tournament games.
That being said, Michigan has outscored its first two tournament opponents by 42 points outside of the paint, and it made 14 3-pointers -- a school record -- in its third-round win over Texas.
Games To Watch
Tennessee looks to continue its surprising run against a Michigan team that has lost just once since Feb. 23. The Volunteers will have to find a way to stop Nik Stauskas, who had 17 points including four 3-pointers in the Wolverines' third-round win.
Madison Square Garden was made for stars, and a pair of senior point guards -- UConn's Shabazz Napier and Iowa State's DeAndre Kane -- certainly fit the bill. Napier is averaging 24.5 points in this tournament while Kane is averaging 19.
This is the fourth time John Calipari and Rick Pitino have played in the tournament. Kentucky (twice coached by Pitino against Calipari's UMass teams) has won each time. Calipari's victory came in the 2012 Final Four.
When the East region's bracket was released, Michigan State immediately became the popular Final Four -- and in some cases national title -- pick. Now, Virginia has a chance to prove it deserved a No. 1 seed.